Looking for Copyright Information

TheOnlyHeero

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Hello Everyone, I am new here but have been reading alot of posts on some items relating to my issue. I trained in a form of American Kenpo for over 10 years, even was a manager and head instructor at multiple locations within this organization. i have been out for A few years now as politics hit hard with the organization with the Grand Master Bill Packer passed away and a huge split in the organization occurred. I have a upcoming school ask if i would be interested in teaching a few classes for kids. now my issue is i knew there was a copyright on the material and the AKKA (American Kenpo Karate Academies, Karate USA) black belt system/business system, but i am unable to locate the actual copyright on any of this material and am in question if I am allowed to teach anything.

I am curious on thoughts as this has been a headache for me to locate anything on this. I know the Martial Arts System they copywrote is a documented and video library of sequenced techniques in a specific layout, but I just want to be safe before i start teaching anything.
 

bushido

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Begin with the copyright notice. This identifies who owns the copyright.
The copyright owner may not own or have authority to grant you right of usage. If you want to quote from a book or article, you must contact the publishers rights department.
The publisher may no longer be in business, or perhaps the book is no longer in print. If this is the case, you will have to find the author by doing a copyright search.
It can be a time consuming task actually finding who has the right to give you permission to use the material.
If what you want to use is part of a companies IP, such as course curriculum, just reach out to the company... info@
Also, just as a side note, a lot of companies will put Copyright 202_ on their material, but never actually file for copyright status... If the notice does not show who owns the copyright, there is a very good chance that this is the case.
 

lklawson

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Hello Everyone, I am new here but have been reading alot of posts on some items relating to my issue. I trained in a form of American Kenpo for over 10 years, even was a manager and head instructor at multiple locations within this organization. i have been out for A few years now as politics hit hard with the organization with the Grand Master Bill Packer passed away and a huge split in the organization occurred. I have a upcoming school ask if i would be interested in teaching a few classes for kids. now my issue is i knew there was a copyright on the material and the AKKA (American Kenpo Karate Academies, Karate USA) black belt system/business system, but i am unable to locate the actual copyright on any of this material and am in question if I am allowed to teach anything.

I am curious on thoughts as this has been a headache for me to locate anything on this. I know the Martial Arts System they copywrote is a documented and video library of sequenced techniques in a specific layout, but I just want to be safe before i start teaching anything.
You might be able to challenge the Copyright if it is a derivative work. Say, for instance, if they've CR'd the Kata and one-steps, and you can show that the kata is predominately the same as pre-existing kata, then they could lose the CR on that.


IP is weird and I kinda hate it as an area of study.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

bushido

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IP is weird and I kinda hate it as an area of study.
For sure, but IP is much harder to get around and easier to enforce than copy right is... I only have to show that it was bought, donated or created by an agent in my employ for use by the company, or brought in as an asset by any agent or employee of the company. As a side note, ANYTHING written, developed or created by ANY employee within my company instantly becomes my companies IP and property. There can be exceptions to this, but they have to be negotiated at the time that I retain your services and stated in a binding contract.
Kind of off topic, but... lol
 

hoshin1600

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The op sounds to me like he wants to teach what he learned and someone put a copywrite on the style? Is that actually a thing ? The only time I heard of this was Keysi system, is a CP even possible with kempo?
 

bushido

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You would do better to trademark the "name" of the kata or the style (If you made up the name)... For instance, Arthur Murray (Arthur Murray International Inc) owns the trademarked name of all their dances. If you open a dance studio, you cannot, for instance, call your waltz a "Viennese waltz" or "Country Western Waltz"... they will slap you with a cease & desist and file a suit for damages and theft of intellectual property...
There is such a thing as public domain... Once something has been released unprotected to the public, you may use it free of charge, but then, someone may pay and trademark it, and yes, you would have to fight it or stop using it. Exception would be if the content creator licensed it public domain, then you could not trademark it.
You can trademark just about anything... there is a project right now to trade mark all chord progressions in music, and release them under public domain because artists have now been trade marking chord progressions in their songs so no other band can use that combination of chords...
 

dvcochran

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Begin with the copyright notice. This identifies who owns the copyright.
The copyright owner may not own or have authority to grant you right of usage. If you want to quote from a book or article, you must contact the publishers rights department.
The publisher may no longer be in business, or perhaps the book is no longer in print. If this is the case, you will have to find the author by doing a copyright search.
It can be a time consuming task actually finding who has the right to give you permission to use the material.
If what you want to use is part of a companies IP, such as course curriculum, just reach out to the company... info@
Also, just as a side note, a lot of companies will put Copyright 202_ on their material, but never actually file for copyright status... If the notice does not show who owns the copyright, there is a very good chance that this is the case.
As long as it is formatted correctly, anyone can cite anything in a document, without recourse.

The principle restated in section 202 is a fundamental and important one: that copyright ownership and ownership of a material object in which the copyrighted work is embodied are entirely separate things. ... Conversely, transfer of a copyright does not necessarily require the conveyance of any material object.ut recourse.

This is completely different from including a work cited page in a standard document.

I have owned three patents in my time (now expired). The most consistent challenge was 202 in nature. Since the patents were intellectual property in nature, it was an easy challenge to make, but harder to prove in separation.
 

dvcochran

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Hello Everyone, I am new here but have been reading alot of posts on some items relating to my issue. I trained in a form of American Kenpo for over 10 years, even was a manager and head instructor at multiple locations within this organization. i have been out for A few years now as politics hit hard with the organization with the Grand Master Bill Packer passed away and a huge split in the organization occurred. I have a upcoming school ask if i would be interested in teaching a few classes for kids. now my issue is i knew there was a copyright on the material and the AKKA (American Kenpo Karate Academies, Karate USA) black belt system/business system, but i am unable to locate the actual copyright on any of this material and am in question if I am allowed to teach anything.

I am curious on thoughts as this has been a headache for me to locate anything on this. I know the Martial Arts System they copywrote is a documented and video library of sequenced techniques in a specific layout, but I just want to be safe before i start teaching anything.
First off, welcome to the forum. I hope you hang aroung.

As I understand it, Ed Parker has a copyright. At least that is the lore. But I cannot find it. I did not spend a ton of time on the copyright.gov site but it does not list anything for Ed Parker specific to Kenpo that I saw. ***Do not take my word on this. This is not legal counsel. ***
You say you are under a different GM. So, is the teaching different? Can it be challenged? If so, by who?
I also see that you can learn Kenpo online. So, I would assume no copyright.

Practicing and teaching a martial art and quoting/referencing a book (in written format) are two very different things. Furthermore, you would have to claim it to be 'your' property to really be out of bounds. In your case, you are teaching something your learned from someone who learned it from someone else, and so on and so on. Who is to say you are teaching any specific material, beyond your GM's?

Anything can be challenged. Seems to be the Americal way all too often. But the legal vehicle to do this is cumbersome and expensive. Ask me how I know.

Clearly, Ed Parker wrote several books, which may be copyrighted. But again, that is a different animal.

In regard to your teaching opportunity, are you teaching Kenpo in an existing Kenpo school? See where I am going?

Best wishes on your future endeavors.
 

bushido

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As long as it is formatted correctly, anyone can cite anything in a document, without recourse.
Well written posts DV :)
Yes, I should have mentioned that also... Give credit to the source, and you can use portions of their material without license...
 

Flying Crane

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It is my understanding that some members of Ed Parkers family have placed a copyright on either his system or use of his name or the curriculum or the names of the kata and techniques or something, Im not sure what. They wanted to control it.

I honestly dont know how well that can be enforced if people were already granted permission to teach by Ed Parker and his downstream, without enforcing some kind of franchising or royalties or something. Im not sure if that can be effectively clawed back after the fact, by descendants trying to copyright it later.

Its all quite silly anyways. If it comes down to it, you change the names, tweak the tech combination or the kata or something a little bit and you simply state that you are teaching martial arts based on what you were taught by your teacher X, who was a student of Y, who was a student of Ed Parker. If that is the truth, you have the right to speak it. You can definitely use the name Ed Parker in that context, if it is truthful, regardless if the name has been copyrighted.
 

skribs

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I have more knowledge of copyright law than your average person, but not by much. This comes from my own research into it in publishing a book, and from the little amount that is covered in cybersecurity courses. I am by no means a lawyer. Here is what I will tell you is my opinion on the subject.

I don't think there are any techniques that can be copywritten. In developing my curriculum, I have found that a lot of the techniques my Master teaches can be found in Taekwondo, Hapkido, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, and a number of other East Asian arts. Therefore, the techniques themselves are pretty much ubiquitous, and it's impossible to own them.

I don't think you can own a combination, either. Where is the line between something as common as roundhouse -> back kick, vs. something like a specific block, grab, strike, take-down, and finishing move? If someone does point to me a law in which there is a clear line between "common combination" and "copywritable combination", then I'll change my opinion on this.

What you probably can copywrite is a specific curriculum. For example, if your curriculum is something like this:
  • White Belt - Punches 1-5, Kicks 1-5, Blocks 1-5, Form 1, Punch Defense 1-3, Kick Defense 1-3, Grab Defense 1-3
  • Yellow Belt - Punches 1-8, Kicks 1-8, Blocks 1-5, Forms 1-2, Punch Defense 1-5, Kick Defense 1-5, Grab Defense 1-5
  • Purple Belt - Punches 1-10, Kicks 1-10, Blocks 1-5, Jump Kicks 1-3, Forms 1-3, Punch Defense 1-5, Kick Defense 1-5, Grab Defense 1-5, Two-Step Defense 1-3
  • ...and so on
In that case, if you were to use the same combinations and requirements as your organization, you might run into problems with using their intellectual property. You can then choose to create your own combinations, one-steps, and forms. Or you can do what I'm planning on doing, which is getting away from memorized curriculum so you can focus on the techniques themselves, and then nobody can claim you're using their curriculum.
 

dvcochran

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I have more knowledge of copyright law than your average person, but not by much. This comes from my own research into it in publishing a book, and from the little amount that is covered in cybersecurity courses. I am by no means a lawyer. Here is what I will tell you is my opinion on the subject.

I don't think there are any techniques that can be copywritten. In developing my curriculum, I have found that a lot of the techniques my Master teaches can be found in Taekwondo, Hapkido, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, and a number of other East Asian arts. Therefore, the techniques themselves are pretty much ubiquitous, and it's impossible to own them.

I don't think you can own a combination, either. Where is the line between something as common as roundhouse -> back kick, vs. something like a specific block, grab, strike, take-down, and finishing move? If someone does point to me a law in which there is a clear line between "common combination" and "copywritable combination", then I'll change my opinion on this.

What you probably can copywrite is a specific curriculum. For example, if your curriculum is something like this:
  • White Belt - Punches 1-5, Kicks 1-5, Blocks 1-5, Form 1, Punch Defense 1-3, Kick Defense 1-3, Grab Defense 1-3
  • Yellow Belt - Punches 1-8, Kicks 1-8, Blocks 1-5, Forms 1-2, Punch Defense 1-5, Kick Defense 1-5, Grab Defense 1-5
  • Purple Belt - Punches 1-10, Kicks 1-10, Blocks 1-5, Jump Kicks 1-3, Forms 1-3, Punch Defense 1-5, Kick Defense 1-5, Grab Defense 1-5, Two-Step Defense 1-3
  • ...and so on
In that case, if you were to use the same combinations and requirements as your organization, you might run into problems with using their intellectual property. You can then choose to create your own combinations, one-steps, and forms. Or you can do what I'm planning on doing, which is getting away from memorized curriculum so you can focus on the techniques themselves, and then nobody can claim you're using their curriculum.
Agree. And I see little to no value to a written curriculum, beyond the limited amount of time a person is in the color belt curriculum. And, let's face it; there is/would be a great amount of 'copycat' with a lot of other schools/systems.

Am I correct that when you say 'focus on techniques' you mean working on the specifics (components) of a movement rather the coarse movement?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The op sounds to me like he wants to teach what he learned and someone put a copywrite on the style? Is that actually a thing ? The only time I heard of this was Keysi system, is a CP even possible with kempo?
Yes. It's happened with shaolin kempo, and some of american kenpo has a copyright as well.
@TheOnlyHeero it may be worth looking into the lawsuit between USSD and Z-ultimate; although that only happened because Z-ultimate was a very large organization by the time of the lawsuit, and if I remember correctly contained a lot of SKK former instructors. I have my doubts that anyone in american kenpo would care about an individual dojo, but I am not a lawyer and would not recommend either way. That is a decision for you to make on your own.
 

skribs

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Agree. And I see little to no value to a written curriculum, beyond the limited amount of time a person is in the color belt curriculum. And, let's face it; there is/would be a great amount of 'copycat' with a lot of other schools/systems.

Am I correct that when you say 'focus on techniques' you mean working on the specifics (components) of a movement rather the coarse movement?
Yes, but I also think it's more than that. For basic striking techniques (punches, kicks, and blocks...but especially kicks), the idea is that you can memorize combos, or you can learn techniques and then learn concepts of how to put them together into combos.

For example, my Master's curriculum has Punching 1-8, which mostly includes different amounts of jabs, reverse punches, and steps, with a few other techniques thrown in. I've seen most of the students (myself included) "practicing" punching 1-8 on our own by essentially doing 1-inch arm pumps for each "punch", because we're more worried about the memorization for the test, than on improving technique. I also find a lot of people (especially kids) fall into the trap of "I already know it, why should I practice it?"

I think kicking highlights the differences better, because kicking is the biggest focus in Taekwondo. My Master has kicking 1-8, which will have a combo in which the star is a front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, back kick, hook kick, spinning hook kick, axe kick, and tornado kick (respectively). These are the Kicking 1-8 you get as a green belt (and carry forever). There's also a Kicking 1-5 for Purple & Orange belts (similar star kicks in each number), and white belts are just told which kick to do.

My approach is something more like this:

BeltTechniquesFootworkConcepts
White
White + Stripe
Front Kick
Roundhouse Kick
Side Kick
Stretch Kick
Push Kick
Walking Kick
Spot Kick
Lead-Leg Kick
Chamber
Snap Power
Instep
Kick + Punch Combo
Yellow
Yellow + Stripe
Back Kick (Spinning Side Kick)
Axe Kick (Straight and Outside)
Step & Kick (Forward/Back)
Slide & Kick (Forward/Back)
Switch & Kick
Step-Behind Side Kick
Step, Spin & Kick (Back Kick)
Basic Jump Kicks
Block, Kick, + Punch Combo
Roundhouse Kick/Back Kick Combo
Green
Green + Stripe
Hook Kick
Turning Roundhouse Kick
Front Snap Kick
Inside Axe Kick
Repeating/Rhythmic Kicking
Skip Kicks
Pop Kicks (Forward/Back)
Switch Forward/Back
Basic Lateral Kicks
180 Spin Backward
Intermediate Jump Kicks
Adjusting Kicks for Distance
Different Striking Surfaces (i.e. Blade vs. Heel, Ball of the Foot)

In my approach, I teach things compartmentalized, and then allow the students to piece them together in different ways. Instead of taking Technique 1 and Concept A, and Technique 2 and Concept B (and so on) as rote memorized 1A, 2B, 3C, 4D (etc.), I have techniques 1-5 and Concepts A-E, and I can piece them together however I want. One day we might do 1A, 2A, 3A..., another day we might do 4A, 4B, 4C...

This is real apparent in self-defense. Where each "technique" has several techniques in them. For example, a specific block, grab, strike, take-down, and finishing move. The last two of #1 may be a sweep and a break, and #2 may be a throw and a punch. Why not a throw and a break? Why not a sweep and a punch?

Where I see this as especially helpful is in building instructors. It's a lot easier to remember "Hip Throws" than to remember "Yellow Belt #1-5."
 
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